Grab for cash at heart of plan
Greyhound racing at two casino/tracks in our state — at Wheeling Island and Cross Lanes — is squarely in the sights of some West Virginia legislators for their session beginning in January. They want to end a program by which the tracks are required to pay some of their proceeds — not taxpayers money — into a fund that supports the sport.
As we reported this week, a public opinion poll conducted on behalf of a group whose sole goal is ending all greyhound racing came to the conclusion that many Mountain State residents agree with scrapping the program.
Wording used to ask questions in such polls very often brings the results those paying for them desire. In this situation, many respondents simply do not have all the information needed to make a dispassionate judgment. Some seem to believe the $15 million is taxpayers’ money. Again, it is not.
And many poll respondents are not aware that greyhound racing, directly and indirectly, supports hundreds of jobs.
One thing anyone considering the program should think about is what will happen to the $15 million or so a year if the support ends. Will it stay with the tracks, as it obviously should?
Of course not. State government will grab for the money faster than a racing greyhound can get out of the gate. This is a blatant grab for cash — and West Virginians should see it as such.